Reprinting an interesting comment from 2010, found posted to Cannabinoids: every body loves them, some bodies need them
“…This is a wonderful article and I ran across it because I was looking for theories regarding endocannabinoid deficiencies.
I have battled clinical depression, which at times has been totally debilitating, for about 16 years now (12 of which I have been on pharmaceutical medication). I was advised early on to stay away from drugs and alcohol to try to stay mentally stable and of course I lumped marijuana into that category.
I have tried countless pharmaceutical anti-depressants over the past 12 years; some of them made me feel like a zombie, some of them had terrible side effects, and some of them were just completely ineffective. I finally found one that worked “best”—and by “best” I mean it was the most tolerable and most effective of the ones I’d tried. I continued to be mildly to moderately depressed on this medication, but again, this was the “best” one I had encountered in 12 years.
A year and a half ago I started looking into alternative treatments because I was unhappy with the side-effects of the anti-depressant I was taking (hand tremors, headaches, insomnia). I was also hoping I could find something that would be more effective for treating my depression. I had been hearing a lot about medical marijuana so I decided to do some research into whether or not that could be used to treat depression, even though I was convinced that marijuana was “bad” for my mental health.
I spent weeks researching cannabis, its potential risks and benefits, the mechanism through which it interacts with the brain, etc. I finally came to the conclusion that most of what I had learned about cannabis was a complete lie (it kills brain cells, it causes cancer, it compromises your immune system, etc.) and I also realized that the risks and side-effects of any of the countless anti-depressants I had tried over the years were FAR more significant than with cannabis.
I started using cannabis on a daily basis, ONCE a day before I went to bed, and within a short period of time I felt like my old self again, for the first time in over a decade. After about 6 months of nightly cannabis use I decided that I would stop taking my pharmaceutical anti-depressant. I tapered myself off that drug—and was finally free of the associated hand tremors, headaches, and insomnia—and then continued to use cannabis once a day. I had no problems with depression, whatsoever.
Recently I experimented with ceasing my cannabis use to find out whether or not it was really acting as an antidepressant or whether I had just stopped having problems with depression and had mistakenly attributed that to the cannabis. I felt fine for about 2 weeks after I stopped my nightly use of cannabis. During the third week, though, I started to feel depressed, and by the fourth week I was having days were I was VERY depressed, crying for no reason, feelings of worthlessness, etc. I then decided that the cannabis MUST have been working as my anti-depressant after all, so I went back to using it once a day before bedtime.
Within 2 days I felt COMPLETELY better again—that is, I went from a moderate depression to feeling no depression whatsoever. I have NEVER had that fast of a response with any pharmaceutical drug I have tried in the past; those have all taken weeks to have any effect (if they had an effect at all), and even then the effect was not enough to rid me of my depression completely.
Thanks to cannabis I feel like I have my life back. Please understand I am just a person with chronic depression that was never relieved by pharmaceutical drugs and I am NOT encouraging anyone else with mental health problems to follow this advice. HOWEVER, there is absolutely NO DOUBT in my mind, after all my experience with pharmaceutical drugs and more recently cannabis, that MY depression is somehow linked to an endocannabinoid deficiency.
I feel like 17 years of my life were stolen from me by a system that considers cannabis a “street drug” and therefore forces people with depression caused by endocannabinoid deficiencies into a system where they are treated with dangerous and ineffective pharmaceutical drugs. Please understand, I am not saying that these pharmaceutical drugs are ineffective in ALL cases, but in my personal case they were NOT very effective and I never ended up “feeling like myself again” the way I do when I use cannabis instead.
I hope that one day scientists and doctors can freely study the theory of endocannabinoid deficiency without the government and bureaucrats standing in the way. I also hope that people who want to supplement cannabinoids when their body doesn’t produce enough can use the natural plant form instead of being bullied into using the less-effective, more expensive pharmaceutical versions of cannabinoid-based drugs.